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Mobility Measure

Defining and implementing a new parking management policy

By means of an innovative parking policy, Toulouse planned to significantly reduce the number of parking spaces in the city centre.

Implementing sustainable mobility

Prior to measure implementation, Toulouse city centre offered a wide range of parking facilities, with space for 12,000 vehicles. Parking fees were charged on only a few roads in the centre, but in most areas parking was free. This situation led to conflicts of use between shopkeepers, residents, commuters and visitors to the city centre.

To improve the situation and allow city centre residents and shoppers to park more easily, while at the same time reducing downtown traffic, Toulouse City Council decided, under the MOBILIS project, to introduce a parking payment scheme in four central areas.

The objectives of the measure were to:

  • optimise the management of car parking as a springboard for other mobility policies in order to encourage a more balanced use of different modes of transport and safeguard economic activity in the city centre;
  • reduce the amount of space allocated to private vehicles in the city and improve the availability of car parking provision; and
  • define and implement a local parking plan in order to reduce car access to the city centre.


The main quantifiable target of this policy was the elimination of 2,000 parking spaces in the city centre.

How did the measure progress?

The Local Parking Plan was introduced in Mach 2005 and included:

  • the creation of a “residents” rate with a monthly pass available, in some zones from 18:00 to 09:00 and in others for full-day parking;
  • the extension of the paid parking period from 09:00 to 20:00 rather than 18:00 in areas in which a residents rate was created; and
  • consistent monitoring, including the systematic reporting of drivers who overstay their allotted time.


In October 2005, the residents parking scheme was introduced in four trial districts in the city centre, with the idea of subsequently extending the concept to all city-centre districts.  In May 2006, new roads in these first four areas switched over to paid parking and residents parking schemes and two new areas were added to the trial. Throughout 2006 and 2007, new areas were added to the scheme until it covered the entire city centre.

What were the outcomes of the measure?

By December 2007, the residents pass scheme could be considered a success: parking time had fallen from 23 to 5 minutes, and 78 percent of residents in the 19 areas involved were satisfied.

In September 2005, the number of paid parking spaces was evaluated at 2,158, compared to 9,302 free places. By the end of 2007, the free provision had been reduced to 4,669 places, while there were 6,938 paid spaces. Of these, 5,464 were 24-hour residents spaces and 1,474 were 18:00 to 09:00 residents spaces. The proportion of free spaces (25 percent on average) meant that public spaces could be reorganised, sustainable transport infrastructure (e.g. bicycle stations) could be developed, and the needs of emergency professionals could be taken into account.

Parking space occupancy rates dropped significantly, by 17 percent in the parking management area and by 11 percent in the few streets of the city centre where parking was still free. The rate of illegal parking rate decreased by 2 percent.